Polluters Cited in Report Contributed $11K+ to GOP Candidates

March 13, 2019

Owners and employees of two Wisconsin businesses cited in an annual pollution report for being among the top chemical waste dumpers in 2017 contributed about $11,700 to mostly Republican legislative and statewide candidates.

The companies were named in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Toxic Release Inventory. The report, released Tuesday, said state industries overall released about 30 million pounds of chemical waste into the air, water, and land in 2017.

The Wisconsin operations that dumped or released the most waste were Mullins Cheese, of Mosinee, Wisconsin Rapids Pulp Mill, Waupaca Foundry, and the Water Quality Center, a Wisconsin Rapids paper mill.

Employees of the Waupaca Foundry, which produces iron castings, contributed $11,860 to legislative and statewide candidates between January 2010 and December 2017. All but $550 went to Republicans. The top recipients were:

Former Republican Gov. Scott Walker, $5,835

Republican Assembly Campaign Committee, $1,950

GOP Rep. John Macco, of Ledgeview, $1,125

The top contributors from Waupaca Foundry were:

Gary Gigante, of Wausaukee, retired Waupaca Foundry chief executive officer, $8,150

Michael Nikolai, of Waupaca, Waupaca Foundry president, $2,600

Two co-owners of Mullins Cheese contributed $4,850 between January 2010 and December 2017, including $3,500 to Walker and $1,350 to GOP Sen. Jerry Petrowski, of Marathon.

The contributors were Mary Mullins, of Mosinee, $3,850, and Matthew Mullins, of Mosinee, $1,000.